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THE

L I F E

OF

GENERAL WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER I.

BIRTH OF

MR. WASHINGTON-HIS MISSION TO THE FRENCH ON

THE OHIO-APPOINTED LIEUTENANT-CULONEL OF A REGIMENT

OF REGULAR TROOPS-SURPRISES

M. JUMONVILLE-CAPITULA

TION OF FORT NECESSITYIS APPOINTED AID-DE-CAMP TO GE

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LONY-GENERAL FORBES UNDERTAKES THE EXPEDITION AGAINST
FORT DU QUESNE-DEFEAT OF MAJOR GRANT-FORT DU QUESNE

EVACUATED BY THE FRENCH AND TAKEN POSSESSION OF BY THE

ENGLISH-RESIGNATION AND MARRIAGE OF COLONEL VASHING

TON.

CHAP. I.

1732 Birth of Mr.

GEC
EORGE WASHINGTON, the third son of Augustine

Washington, was born in Virginia, at Bridges-Creek in the county of Westmorland, on the 22d of February, 1732. Washington. He was the great grandson of John Washington, a gentleman of very respectable family in the north of England, who had emi

grated

VOL. II.

B

CHAP. I.

grated about the year 1657, and settled on the place where young Mr. Washington was born.

1732

Very early in life the cast of his genius disclosed itself. The war in which his country was then engaged against France and Spain, first kindled those latent sparks which afterwards blazed with equal splendour and advantage ; and at the age of fifteen he urged so pressingly to be permitted to enter into the British navy, that the place of midshipman was obtained for him. The interference of a timid and affectionate mother suspended for a time the commencement of his military course.

He lost his father at the age of ten years, and received what was denominated an English education ; a term which excludes the acquisition of other languages than our own.

As his patrimonial estate was by no means considerable, his youth was employed in useful industry: and in the practice of his profession as a surveyor, he had an opportunity of acquiring that information respecting vacant lands, and of forming those opinions concerning their future value, which afterwards greatly contributed to the increase of his private fortune.

It is strong evidence of the opinion entertained of his capacity, that when not more than nineteen years of age, and at a time when the militia were to be trained for actual service, he was appointed one of the adjutants-general of Virginia, with the rank of major. The duties annexed to this office were performed by him for a very short time.

short time. The plan formed by France for connecting her extensive dominions in America, by uniting Canada with Louisiana, now began to develope itself. Possession was 4

taken

CHAP.I.

1753.

A great

taken of a tract of country then deemed to be within the pro-
vince of Virginia, and a line of posts was commenced from the
Lakes to the Ohio. The attention of Mr. Dinwiddie, the lieute-
nant-governor of that province, was attracted by these supposed
encroachments; and he deemed it his duty to demand, in the
name of the king his master, that they should desist from the
prosecution of designs which violated, as he thought, the trea-
ties between the two crowns. A proper person was to be se-
lected for the performance of this duty, which, at that time,
was very properly believed to be a very arduous one.
part of the country through which the envoy was to pass was
almost entirely unexplored, and inhabited only by Indians, many
of whom were hostile to the English, and others of doubtful
attachment. While the dangers and fatigues of the journey
deterred those from undertaking it who did not extend their
views to the future scenes to be exhibited in that country, or
who did not wish to be actors in them, they seem to have fur-
nished motives to Mr. Washington for desiring to be employed
in this hazardous service, and he engaged in it with the utmost
alacrity.

October 31st.

He commenced his journey from Williamsburg the day on His mission to which he was commissioned, and arrived on the 14th of Novem- the Ohio. ber at Willis's-Creek, then the extreme frontier settlement of the English. Guides were there engaged to conduct him over the Aleghany mountains, the passage of which, at that season of the year, began to be extremely difficult. After surmounting considerable impediments from the snow and high waters, he reached the mouth of Turtle-Creek on the Monongahela, on the 22d, where he learned from an Indian trader, that the French B 2

general

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